Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Carla Harryman

Carla Harryman [The Volta]

from Carla Harryman's Adorno's Noise:

It Is Difficult to Write Satire


The president was on top of me it's not what you think he was trying to hurt me he didn't know that I had a vest on too that he would have to try harder to get through he was pounding I was scared but unreasonably and so my giggling mingled with fear incredulity and true amusement the president wow was trying to pow me this made him madder he was plowing in with a low ball cut across the chest I'm teaching you a lesson his jaw was relaxing that bewildered set in stone look of determination he used for cameras relaxing a new expression was eeking through showing another self more free less fake by a long shot glowing but bitter "you'll never win you'll never beat me I'm stronger than you" this was obvious whenever he let go his grip on my shoulder even slightly I'd try to slide away from him he wanted to see me cry he pinned me, whispered this in my ear, not knock me out "the smug smile I'm gonna wipe it off your face" that's what he was going for and for me to declare with sincerity I give up you are going to be on top forever I've learned my lesson just move off and I promise you'll never need your fists again when you have completed your term I'll work in your library file your papers escort researchers to the drawers where your secret documents will be kept several decades hence and in the meantime we can keep your wife's favorite poetry books in them along with all the kind notes full of gratitude people have sent you and the personal notes from leaders thanking you for your hospitality and supporting your views on everything from — well you know — staying the course we'll keep the notes in those files until the keepers of state secrets let your truths slip out of their vaults into your drawers full of dignity and proper views and victory I'll call you whenever you like on a special line and report on the most recent display of fan letters one floor down in the presidential museum grand gallery — those tomes you had missed out on reading when you were busy doing your duty being obedient to the higher powers who had bestowed upon you the protective armor we now both share.

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